Allied Cycle Works visited road.cc recently to show us a couple of very cool-looking models, one road/race bike and one all-rounder. The brand, which builds all of its bikes in the US, is promising “something new and very exciting” at the Bespoked show in Bristol next week.
Allied was founded in 2016 by Tony Karklins, an independent bicycle dealer of 19 years and founder and former CEO of Orbea USA. He bought the former Guru carbon factory equipment and shipped it to Arkansas, then assembled a team that includes Sam Pickman, former lead engineer for Specialized on projects including the current Roubaix and previous versions of the Tarmac.
Tony also bought CyclArt, the business responsible for those famous Klein fade paint schemes from back in the day – hence the finish you can see on the Allied bike below.
Allied currently offers three bikes and brought two of them in to show us.
The Alfa is a carbon-fibre race bike with a claimed frame weight of 875g (bare 56cm model).
Like most higher level performance-orientated road bikes these days, the Alfa is built with a tapered head tube. In this case, it takes a 1 1/8in upper bearing and a 1 1/4in lower bearing.
Interestingly, the bottom bracket is threaded. Allied doesn’t want any of the creaking issues of some pressed in designs.
Cable routing is internal. One really neat feature is this eagle-shaped addition around the entry points on the down tube. The Alfa can take tyres up to 28mm wide.
Two geometries are available. A standard 56cm model is built with a a 55.2cm seat tube, 56.5cm top tube, 15.7cm head tube and 73.5° frame angles. The stack is 560mm and the reach is 396mm. That’s the kind of aggressive geometry you’d expect on a race-orientated road bike.
The second “Plus” geometry is similar except for the addition of 2cm to the top of the head tube. This takes the stack up to 580mm and brings the reach down to 391mm. In other words, it makes your ride position a little more relaxed and is especially suitable for those who don't have the flexibility to get into a very low race position.
The Alfa is offered in six sizes from 49cm to 61cm – 12 sizes if you count the taller head tube options separately.
The cost of a frameset in stock colours is £3,000-£3,500, although full-custom painting is also available. The double fade finish you see here is about £400 extra. Delivery of the frameset is 30 days. If you’d like a fully built-up bike, that can be arranged.
The Alfa Allroad – or Allroad for short – is the disc-braked multi-surface bike in the range. Allied says that it isn’t a gravel grinder or an adventure bike, describing it as “a high performance road bike that you can ride damn near anywhere”. The idea is that it’s capable of taking on surfaces like gravel, but it has a road bike feel. We've just seen it, not ridden it, so we can't comment on that.
As with the Alfa (above), you can choose from six sizes from 49cm up to 61cm, each of them in a standard geometry or with an additional 2cm at the top of the head tube (the one in the pic is built to this 'Plus' geometry).
The Allroad’s geometry is quite similar to that of the Alfa. The 56cm model has a 55.2cm seat tube, 56.5cm top tube and a 15.7cm head tube – all exactly the same, although the Allroad’s frame angles are a little slacker, the wheelbase is a little longer and there’s more fork rake. The stack is 562mm and the reach is 394mm. This all means that the Allroad is a little more relaxed than the Alfa, but the difference isn’t vast.
The Allroad will take tyres up to 38mm. That’s wide, but you don’t get the huge clearance that you do with some of the new breed of do-it-all bikes. Allied sees this as the type of bike you could stick skinny tyres on and go road racing, and then wider tyres for something like gravel.
Innegra is used in both the front and rear triangles. This is a fibre that, according to its manufacturer, “can be used to provide weight reduction, excellent levels of impact resistance and damage tolerance”.
Innegra is the fibre that Orro uses in Terra C to provide protection from stones pinging up from the road surface – which is why it’s more relevant for a bike that’s likely to be ridden on multiple different surfaces.
The bare 56cm frame has a claimed weight of 920g.
Like the Alfa, the Allroad has a tapered head tube, a threaded bottom bracket and that eagle where the cables enter the down tube.
The Allroad frameset is priced at around £3,500 and delivery is around 30 days.
Allied didn’t bring the Echo along so we don’t have pics to show you, but it’s a rim brake road bike that’s made to a full custom geometry. The frame weight is around 800g, although that’ll obviously vary a little according to your geometry.
The Echo is made from Mitsubishi MR60H and HR40 high modulus carbon fibre.
If you’d like to check out Allied bikes for yourself, they’ll be on show at Bespoked next week. Allied promises that it’ll have something new and exciting on display, but we couldn’t tell you exactly what. We’re not being coy – they wouldn’t tell us!
Bespoked, which bills itself as “the UK handmade bicycle show”, takes place in Bristol, 20-22 April 2018. For details go to www.bespoked.cc.
Get more info on Allied Cycle Works from alliedcycleworks.com.
The UK contact is alex [at] bicyclechain.co.uk.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.